The peak of incentive travel: What you need to win JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2020

The life of an event planner is fraught with stress and loaded with pressure, from the pre-production phase of building the programme, setting goals and objectives, to identifying exactly the right audience and, of course, creating a memorable and exciting action plan which will inspire and delight guests. See, no pressure at all.

One national body recognising all the hard work of planners, from around the world, is the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO). Dedicated to rewarding the efforts of planners the JNTO host the annual JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards, of the very best incentive travel programmes which spark the imagination with unique itineraries and experiences for incentive tours to Japan, and the planners who made them.

Keen to learn about the JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards, especially under a global pandemic, I spoke to Camila Cortea of the Japan Convention Bureau MICE department about the purpose of the awards, what it takes to win and more…

Camila Cortea

TD) What are the origins of the awards and what is their purpose?

Camila Cortea (CC) Well, they were first held in 2016, as a way of recognising and celebrating best practices among incentive travel planners to Japan. The winners we select do not just represent excellence in their professions, which they undoubtedly do, but to also stand as examples of inspirational experiences, as well as demonstrate how incentive travel can lead to business results. 

TD) Who are the awards open to?

CC) Any incentive planner or travel agent based outside Japan who has held an incentive trip in Japan of at least 100 pax nights between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

TD) What do you need to do to win?

CC) Applicants need to boast about their planning skills! It is vital to emphasize the highlights of their incentive travels in the questions on the application form. We ask applicants to mention, for example, what was original and unique about their trip, what their participants (clients) enjoyed about it, and what contribution or positive effect had the incentive trip to the destination it was held in.

Also, we encourage the sharing of additional materials such as pictures or videos to appeal to the judges. There is not a single recipe to win, so my advice is that planners consider applying — luck may be on their side! 

“We will now fly you to Japan in style, with a business class flight”

TD) What have been the difficulties in running the awards and how have you overcome them, during the pandemic?

CC) Since early this year, we have been in close contact with our overseas offices monitoring the global situation. We held some surveys regarding sensitivities and the timing of JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards, and we were pleasantly surprised to hear from them that candidate applicants were eagerly waiting for the launch of this year’s edition.

We decided to adapt the prize offer, adding to the existing grand prize. We will now fly you to Japan in style, with a business class flight or, as an alternative, we can support the winning company JNTO sponsored advertisements or we can provide specially-made gifts for the planners’ future groups to Japan, adding greater value to your programme and possibly contributing to another award in the future.

Prize breakdown:

  • Winners will be able to use the “JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2020” logo for all
    advertising and marketing promotional activities for a period of three years. The logo for printing materials such as brochures as well as websites is also available.
  • The JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2020 Trophy
  • Coverage on the JNTO website
  • One Grand Prize from the selection below :
  1. A trip to Japan with complimentary round trip business class airfare and three nights of accommodation for one person provided.
  2. JNTO sponsored online advertisement to boost the awardee’s company branding
  3. Original giveaways featuring JNTO and the awardee’s company logos.

TD) This all sounds brilliant. Is there still time to enter?

CC) Yes! Entry began on 15 July and runs until next week, the closing date is 16 September 2020. The winners are declared in December. So, if you are proud of the work that you do and the incentive travel plan to Japan you have created, make sure to apply before it’s too late.

Keen to enter the JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards and pick up one of those fabulous prices and receive the kudos from a global community of planners and the respect of your peers? Make sure to click here, before 16 September.

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